Giving

Year-End Giving Options That Can Benefit Donors and Non-Profits

As we approach the end of the year, there is an underlying theme of giving back that is woven in the messaging all around us. As a non-profit organization, the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) & Hospice Foundation relies on the generosity of our donors and their desire to give back all year long. Their motivation to help those in need is what allows the VNA to provide home health, hospice and community health services to everyone, even the under and uninsured in our community.

We are so thankful for the philanthropic spirit of this community and wanted to be sure to share how donations to non-profits can be beneficial to donors from a tax perspective. We like a win-win situation where a donor can support the VNA and possibly save on their year-end taxes! Donations received by the VNA & Hospice Foundation by December 31st can be listed as a charitable deduction on your taxes for that year, which might provide some tax savings depending on your specific situation.

Another way that you might be able to realize some tax savings is by donating appreciated stock. When you donate shares of stock that have appreciated in value to the VNA, you can avoid the tax on the financial gain while also claiming 100% of the value of the contribution as a charitable deduction. Transferring stock could earn you two to three times the tax savings versus donating cash. The VNA & Hospice Foundation has partnered with donatestock.com to make donating stock fast, safe, and easy! In 10 minutes or less, you can enter the information needed to transfer the shares of your appreciated stock to the VNA from your brokage account. If you prefer to go through your own broker, please call our office at 772.978-5581 and we will give you the necessary information.

Another possible tax-savvy strategy for year-end giving is taking a Qualified Charitable Deduction (QCD) from your IRA. Sometimes called an “IRA Charitable Rollover,” this strategy allows you to make a tax-free gift while satisfying your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD). If you are 70 ½ years or older you can transfer up to $100,000 per year from your IRA directly to the VNA & Hospice Foundation. If you do not have an RMD yet, a QCD gift offers all the benefits of an itemized income tax charitable deduction, even if you don’t itemize. For those 73 or older who must take a Required Minimum Distribution, a QCD gift satisfies that requirement without increasing your income and your tax liability. A call to your IRA administrator to request a Qualified Charitable Distribution from your IRA to the VNA & Hospice Foundation is all it takes to get this process started!

At the VNA & Hospice Foundation, we are constantly amazed at the support we receive from our donors. If there are tax advantageous strategies that will be beneficial when someone gives us financial support, we want to be sure they are known because we like win-win situations. So as the world focuses on giving back this holiday season, we wanted to equip you with information that might help you when you support a non-profit before the end of this tax year.

For more information about donating stock to the VNA, go to vnatc.org/waystogive/stock-donations/.

For more information about donating to the VNA with a Qualified Charitable Deduction through an IRA, go to: plannedgiving.vnatc.org/IRA.

Please note: Not everyone has the same financial situation, and these strategies will work for some individuals and not others. We encourage you to speak to your financial advisor when thinking about your year-end giving to discuss some of the abovementioned options. They will advise which strategy is best for your individual situation.

 

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Programs

Recognizing VNA Donors During National Hospice & Palliative Care Month

November is recognized as National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. In 2020, about three quarters of the Medicare patients who used hospice in the United States were age 65 and over (NHPCO Facts and Figures, 2022 Edition). According to Indian River Indicators provided by the Indian River Community Foundation, 33% of the residents of Indian River County are over the age of 65. As a large part of our community ages, it’s important to understand the type of care that is available if someone becomes affected by a life-limiting illness and hospice care is deemed appropriate.

As the only hospice provider in Indian River County, the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) provides compassionate, innovative care of the highest quality, setting the standard for patients and caregivers, and we extend that care to the uninsured and underinsured in our community. In addition, we strive to collaborate as a team to provide excellent care so that patients experience optimal quality of life at all times. VNA Hospice Care is about living fully through the care provided by an interdisciplinary team wherever a patient calls home.

As a non-profit organization, the VNA relies on our loyal donors to provide the funding needed to provide our services to our community. Because of the generosity of our donors, the VNA is able to provide additional hospice programs and services, including Project Wish, Bereavement Services and the VNA Hospice House, for our hospice patients and their families. The financial support we receive from our donors demonstrates that they understand what hospice care is and the importance of it.  The funding we receive towards these hospice related programs, no matter the amount, allows the VNA to provide the care needed to help our patients navigate this emotional journey with dignity and respect.

At the VNA & Hospice Foundation, we want to recognize National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. To the people in our community who understand the importance of delivering quality hospice care to those with a life-limiting illness, thank you for providing the necessary funding so our clinicians can serve these patients every day. Every single donation made to VNA Hospice’s programs and services goes toward creating an experience with not only the highest quality of healthcare but also one that brings peace and comfort to our patients and their families.

For more information about what hospice care is from the NHPCO, go to https://www.nhpco.org/.

To learn more about the hospice programs and services supported by donations to the VNA & Hospice Foundation, go to https://vnatc.org/programs/.

Sources: Indian River Indicators, provided by the Indian River Community Foundation: https://dashboards.mysidewalk.com/indian-river-cna

NHPCO Facts & Figures (2022 Edition): https://www.nhpco.org/wp-content/uploads/NHPCO-Facts-Figures-2022.pdf

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Collage image of project wish recipients.Programs

Project Wish – Small Wishes Making a Big Impact

When the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) cares for a hospice patient, our focus is on ensuring they experience optimal quality of life at all times. One way the VNA achieves this is through Project Wish. Project Wish is a donor-funded program that allows the VNA to grant end-of-life wishes.

As VNA clinicians and social workers interact with our patients, they help identify last wishes. These wishes could be reliving experiences they once enjoyed, experiencing something on their bucket list, tying up loose ends or even simple requests like a home repair that would improve their care environment. Some wishes are simple to orchestrate and some require more planning and coordination. A dedicated team of volunteers help execute these wishes, arranging transportation, trying to find in-kind donors willing to supply their services and so much more. These generous volunteers and the donors who fund Project Wish impact the lives of our patients by giving them an experience that will improve their quality of life during a difficult and emotional time.

In September 2023, Project Wish was able to grant three wishes to hospice patients. First, we were able to help a hospice patient replace their broken air conditioner since he did not have the funds to pay for a new one. A local church donated the window unit and Project Wish donors covered the cost of installation. Now this hospice patient can keep receiving care in his home comfortably. The second wish was for a hospice patient with a love of fruit. Her shopping volunteer noted that her weekly food costs were mainly from the fruit purchased that she really enjoyed. However, the high cost of fruit was hurting her small food budget. This patient’s hospice counselor asked the Project Wish team if we could send her a fruit basket. Thanks to Project Wish donors, the VNA was able to subscribe this patient to a monthly fruit basket for three months so she can enjoy something she loves without worrying about how she would pay for it. The last wish granted in September was also about creating a comfortable environment for a patient. This patient’s counselor noted that the family did not have any living room or kitchen furniture in their home; our patient was sitting on a beach chair. Our Project Wish team knew that the VNA’s thrift store, Hidden Treasures, would be able to assist with this wish. Project Wish purchased a couch and dining room set, and some end tables and lamps were generously donated from Hidden Treasures as a surprise for the family. What makes this wish very special is that the end tables given to this family were donated by a long-time VNA Hospice volunteer whose wish was for her belonging to be donated to Hidden Treasures when she passed.

Often when we hear about granting wishes we tend to think of grand trips and experiences of a lifetime. For many of our patients, their wishes are simple, and September’s wishes demonstrate that: a new window unit air conditioner, some fruit to enjoy, and a comfortable chair to sit in. Even the smallest wishes can have a huge impact on a patient’s life. Imagine being at home, receiving hospice care with no air conditioning when it’s over 80 degrees outside. The end-of-life journey is difficult to navigate and doing so in an uncomfortable environment makes it even more difficult. Replacing an air conditioner seems like such a simple ‘ask,’ but even granting a small wish like this makes an immediate positive impact on our patient. Sara Bumgarner, Director of Volunteer Services and the head of our Project Wish Program, shared: “One of my favorite quotes that speaks to the mission of Project Wish is from actor, Misha Collins. He said, ‘Even small acts of kindness can make a profound difference to someone else.’ For our hospice clients, it is the small kindnesses that bring joy, contentment and quality of life.”

Whatever the wish is, the VNA and our Project Wish team do their best to try to make it happen. Since 2019 we have granted over 30 wishes thanks to the generosity of our donors, volunteers and community partners who have donated their services. Your continued support of this program will allow the VNA to keep granting these wishes. A donation to Project Wish contributes toward an experience that brings a smile to the faces of our patients and families. As they navigate a difficult and emotional time in their lives, the experience created by granting their wish helps us achieve our mission to ensure our patients experience optimal quality of life.

If you would like to support Project Wish and positively impact the lives of our patients, please visit: vnatc.org/project-wish/.

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Entrance to VNA Hospice House, as nurse speaks with patient and spouse on the terrace.Giving

VNA Hospice House Endowment – An Enduring Gift

We shared Bill and Kate Freeman’s story in our blog post from August 15th (you can read it here), and in that article we shared their feelings about the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) Hospice House. “All your donors gave us a gift,” Kate noted of being able to say goodbye to their son Jack at the VNA Hospice House. For the Freeman’s and many other families who have experienced the VNA Hospice House, this 12-bed facility is so much more than a healthcare facility. It’s a place where loved ones receive the 24/7 care they need at their end-of-life journey; it is a place of comfort, peace and dignity.

The VNA Hospice House is an incredible asset to this community. When a patient has a life-limiting illness and can no longer receive the care they need at home, the VNA Hospice House provides the setting to help them through their end-of-life journey, surrounded by skilled clinicians providing the highest quality care. It is not required for a hospice provider to have a hospice house for their patients, but the VNA and local philanthropists saw the need to have one in Indian River County. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the VNA Hospice House opened its doors in 2000 and has been serving hospice patients in this community for 23 years.

In 2003, through a generous $1 million gift from the L.W. Pierce Family Foundation, the VNA Hospice House Endowment Fund was created. Their transformational gift started this investment that helps pay for the day-to-day expenses of the VNA Hospice House. Each year, the VNA can take a fixed percentage of the earnings of the Endowment Fund to pay for things like electricity, oxygen, water, supplies, and other expenses that are necessary for daily operations. Gifts to the VNA Hospice House Endowment Fund are held in perpetuity, giving us a way to protect the future of the VNA Hospice House, ensuring that it will always be available to those who need hospice care when they can no longer receive it at home.

The VNA is incredibly thankful for all donors who have graciously given to the VNA Hospice House Endowment Fund over the last 20 years. You have provided an enduring gift, demonstrating your commitment to the VNA’s mission. You have contributed to a legacy that will ensure the VNA Hospice House remains available to those who need it, today, tomorrow and in the future.

For more information on the VNA Hospice House and the Endowment Fund, go to: https://vnatc.org/programs/hospice-house/.

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word cloud using hospice termsPrograms

Focusing on Living with Hospice Care

In February 2023, Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced that he was entering hospice care. Over six months into his hospice care, Former President Carter is still receiving the care he needs at his home in Georgia. Hospice has long been a word with negative connotations, becoming synonymous with imminent death. When a loved one hears the word ‘hospice’ from a doctor, they believe that hope is lost, and someone’s passing is impending. That couldn’t be further from the truth about hospice care.

According to the National Institute on Aging, hospice care “focuses on the care, comfort, and quality of life of a person with a serious illness who is approaching the end of life.”  Hospice is often elected when a patient has no possible treatment options or elects not to undergo continued treatment for a life-limiting illness, and the medical care received switches from curing the patient to ensuring the patient is comfortable.

At the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA), our hospice care provides the following:

  • Managing pain and symptoms – help controlling pain and symptoms through medication management and non-clinical therapy services.
  • Medication management – help monitoring and administering medication.
  • Care wherever you call home – providing care at your home, an assisted living facility, the hospital, or the VNA Hospice House.
  • Counseling and support – support from bereavement counselors, social workers and chaplains who help guide the patient and family through this time.
  • Personal care – help with bathing, grooming and personal care.
  • Volunteer support – support from volunteers for companionship, respite for the caregiver, or help running errands.
  • Hospice care has specific guidelines for eligibility; typically, it is for patients with a life-limiting illness who have a prognosis of six months or less and are no longer seeking curative treatments. Additionally, a physician’s referral is needed before a patient can receive hospice care. The VNA’s mission is focused on ensuring all our patients experience optimal quality of life at all times, the cornerstone of the definition of hospice care.

    It’s often the myths pertaining to “what is hospice” that prevent patients from starting hospice at a time when they would most benefit from it. Many times, patients only receive hospice care for a few days prior to their death. Former President Carter’s announcement was a gift from a very philanthropic man, a gift of knowledge and understanding of hospice that he shared with the world. Now six months into his hospice care, Former President Carter exemplifies the fact that hospice is not just for that last week or those last few days before someone passes. Hospice is a care plan focused on the comfort of the patient so that they can live those last few months with dignity and optimal quality of life. It creates an environment that removes the biggest fears people have about death – being in pain, being alone, and being a burden to others.

    Former President Jimmy Carter will be remembered for many accomplishments – his presidency, his philanthropic endeavors, and his Nobel Peace Prize to name a few. For the VNA, we are forever grateful that he decided to put a spotlight on hospice care, bringing awareness to millions of what hospice truly is and hopefully dispelling the many myths surrounding the word. We can only hope that his announcement will make it easier for patients and families to elect hospice care, knowing it’s about living more than dying.

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    Programs

    Becoming A Champion for the VNA Through the Golf-A-Thon

    In 2007, Deb Lockwood began her relationship with the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) through our annual Golf-A-Thon fundraiser. Deb and her husband Mike, members of Indian River Club, wanted to support their club pro, Joe Kern, during his marathon day of golf that benefited the VNA’s Charitable Care Program. As friends of Joe’s, they wanted to volunteer their time out on the golf course the day of the event and make a donation to support him.

    Shortly after Deb began volunteering for the Golf-A-Thon, her father-in-law needed home hospice care from the VNA. Deb thought that hospice was only for the last week of someone’s life, but her experience with VNA Hospice for her father-in-law’s care opened her eyes. Deb saw firsthand that hospice is so much more. Of the VNA’s services, Deb noted: “It was an awesome way for him to be able to stay at home because that’s what they wanted, to be able to have quality care come to the house.”

    It wasn’t just the care he received, it was the support for the family as well. Deb was impressed by the educational component of hospice care, helping the family understand the different stages of end-of-life. “It was a great way to help not only him but also a family through end-of-life,” she said.

    After her firsthand experience with the VNA, Deb has continued her support through her Golf-A-Thon participation. She continues to donate her time volunteering the day of the event and financially support the VNA through this annual event. Serving on the Golf-A-Thon Committee for Indian River Club since 2019, Deb loves that she can see her effort through the end result. Deb has seen the Golf-A-Thon become more successful year after year. She knows she is a part of making that happen while helping patients receive the care they need.

    Her time on the Golf-A-Thon Committee also gives her the opportunity to learn more about VNA’s programs and services through educational sessions held with the 60-plus members of the Committee. Deb was surprised to learn about the breadth and depth of VNA’s services, including the VNA’s Respite Care Program at the VNA Hospice House, We Honor Veterans, the VNA Mobile Health Clinic and so much more. Deb’s involvement with the Golf-A-Thon as a donor, volunteer and Committee member has reinforced her belief that the VNA’s mission is a good cause worth supporting.

    Deb’s philanthropic endeavors span across multiple non-profits in our area. She served for many years on the board and committees of the Indian River Community Foundation. She has an active role with Head, Heart & Hands of Indian River Club as well. It was this work that made her aware of the needs in our community. For a long time, Deb thought of philanthropy as exclusively monetary donations because while she was busy traveling most weeks of the year for work, she only had time to write a check. But when her travel time lessened and she retired, Deb realized that donating time is also needed and can be just as meaningful as a monetary donation. She enjoys volunteering to assist organizations with their strategic planning as well as events like the Golf-A-Thon and plans to continue to do so.

    Deb told us: “I think philanthropy is important not only for the community and the organizations and the people that need the help but also for you as a person to reinforce just how thankful you should be.” We are thankful there are people like Deb in our community who understand the importance of philanthropy and are willing to donate their time and funds to ensure those who need help receive it. Deb and others like her are champions of the VNA, philanthropically supporting us to ensure we can achieve our mission in the community.

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    Image of Bill & Kate FreemanPrograms

    VNA Hospice House – A Gift from Our Donors

    The VNA Hospice House opened its doors in 2000, creating a place where hospice patients could go when they could no longer manage their care at home. Careful consideration was taken to ensure the 12-bed facility felt more like a home and less like a cold, sterile medical facility. The VNA wanted to ensure that patients at their end-of-life journey had a space for them and their families to experience dignity and compassion in those final days.

    Kate Freeman knew of VNA Hospice through her clients and the community. She experienced the VNA firsthand in 2019 when she visited the VNA Hospice House to see a close friend, experiencing his passing while there. “The whole experience was really rather beautiful and peaceful,” Kate said of her first VNA experience.

    In 2022, the Freeman Family faced a tragic situation that brought them back to the VNA Hospice House for their son Jack. While Jack was in the hospital, Kate made the decision to bring him to the VNA Hospice House, knowing she wanted to be in a place that would focus on a peaceful transition for both Jack and her family. Kate knew moving Jack would mean he and the family would have privacy while surrounded by dignity in a non-institutional setting.

    The Freeman’s knew this was not a typical hospice case. Jack had been young and physically healthy, but a mental health crisis had become too much for him. The situation was emotionally intense for the whole family, but to Kate, being at the VNA Hospice House was about giving the family and Jack the opportunity to say goodbye. Jack’s siblings noted the importance of having space to say goodbye to their brother in their own way. The ability to have privacy and leave the room to visit the gardens or gathering space made the whole experience feel more personal to them.

    Of the whole experience, Bill Freeman said “The entire environment…the staff was extraordinary.” Kate added that peacefulness surrounded the entire four days Jack spent at the VNA Hospice House. The family was able to come and go as they needed, with family members arriving late at night or early in the morning and his siblings staying overnight and sleeping sometimes on the floor next to Jack’s bed. The room’s porch allowed the family another space to sit and visit with friends who would come by to give support to the Freeman’s during this time. Kate noted that “people react differently to grief and tragedy” and the VNA Hospice House’s thoughtful setup gave the family the different spaces they needed to process this situation.

    Summarizing it perfectly, Kate noted that the VNA Hospice House “let us be Freeman’s” and handle things their own way. The staff balanced giving the family the space they needed during such an emotionally charged experience while providing the care that Jack and the family needed. Kate and Bill believe that it would have been a challenge to find the space to do what they needed to do in a hospital setting, so they know they made the right decision to move Jack to the VNA Hospice House. And the family is grateful for this community resource. “All your donors gave us that gift,” Kate notes of being able to say goodbye to Jack in a way that was dignified and peaceful.

    Through the generosity of our donors the VNA Hospice House was built and later renovated. And every year, our donors, understanding the importance of this facility, support the operation of the VNA Hospice House through donations to the VNA & Hospice Foundation. Our loyal donors are the reason that the Freemans, and so many other families, have the support and space they need during an emotional and challenging time. Supporting the VNA brings dignity, peace and compassion to patients and families experiencing end-of-life.

    If you or someone you know is struggling, there are a variety of resources in our community. You can call The Mental Health Association (772-569-9788),  or The Mental Health Collaborative (772-217-3663) to get the support needed.

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    A senior couple talking with an estate planner.News

    August is National Make a Will Month

    Do you have a will? Have you been thinking – ‘I need to put together a will’? Well, now is the time!

    A will is an important document, allowing you to select the persons or entities who will receive what you own when you pass away. Without a will in place, the state will decide how your property is divided. You may or may not have a large estate, but having peace of mind knowing that your assets will be divided the way you wish is worth taking the time now to put those thoughts into action. A will allows you to dictate how your assets are distributed, it can be changed if your circumstances change, and it should be reviewed every few years, especially after major life events, such as marriage, births, etc.

    August marks National Make a Will Month. The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) & Hospice Foundation would like to encourage you to consider leaving a lasting impact by including us in your estate plans. By doing so you can support the VNA’s unwavering commitment to provide exceptional care to those who are uninsured or underinsured.

    Leaving a legacy is about more than just financial support; it’s about ensuring that future generations have access to the crucial care and services they deserve. By including the VNA & Hospice Foundation in your estate plans, you have the power to make a profound difference in the lives of individuals who rely on our services.

    The VNA’s comprehensive programs are designed to address the diverse needs of our community. Through the VNA Hospice program, individuals and their families receive compassionate end-of-life care, allowing them to navigate this challenging journey with dignity and support. The VNA Mobile Health Clinic provides vital healthcare services to those who are unable to access traditional medical facilities, ensuring that no one is left behind. Additionally, the VNA Home Health program offers professional medical care and support to individuals who are recovering from illness, injury, or surgery, in the comfort of their own homes.

    By including the VNA & Hospice Foundation in your estate plans, you are making a lasting impact on the lives of those who are most vulnerable. Your generosity will help ensure that the VNA’s programs continue to thrive, allowing us to provide care to residents in our community for years to come. Including the VNA & Hospice Foundation in your estate plans also grants you membership into our Nightingale Legacy Society. You would join a generous group of individuals who understand the need for the VNA’s programs and services in our community now and in the future.

    Please join us this month and become a member of our Nightingale Legacy Society and allow us to thank you for your future support! Click here to download our free Estate Planning Guide.

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    Home health nurse taking a happy patients blood pressure.News

    VNA Donors – Their Impact by the Numbers

    The Visiting Nurse Association of the Treasure Coast (VNA) touches many lives every day and it’s our donors that allow us to help bring care to those who need it. Through specialized programs and services, we provide care focused on the whole person, ensuring our patients always experience optimal quality of life. VNA & Hospice Foundation Director of Development, Michelle Deschane, notes, “Our donors are an integral piece of the VNA family, allowing us to provide essential programs and services to members of our community.”

    During our last fiscal year, through the generosity of our donors, the VNA was able to:

      • Perform 91,504 home health visits to 4,257 patients
      • Cover $537,177 to pay for the care of 186 patients who couldn’t afford the healthcare they needed
      • Care for 1,811 hospice patients for a total of 63,974 days of hospice care
      • Grant 15 end-of-life wishes to hospice patients through our Project Wish Program
      • See 4,032 patients on the VNA Mobile Unit
      • Administer 1,420 flu and COVID-19 vaccines
      • Educate 592 individuals on their healthcare needs through our Community Health Services
      • Screen 345 patients during 34 health screening clinics held throughout the county

    Whether it’s home health, private care, hospice or community health services, the VNA is committed to ensuring our patients and their families are cared for physically, emotionally and spiritually. That is the essence of whole person care. According to CEO Lundy Fields, “Whole person care goes beyond just providing episodic care for our patients. Whole person care means evaluating the patients’ environment to determine if there are ways the VNA can assist them to improve the care experience and deliver on our WHY? Statement: as a team to provide excellent care to patients and families–with integrity, compassion, knowledge and love, so that patients experience optimal quality of life at all times.”

    When it’s broken down into those numbers, it’s amazing to see how many people VNA has helped with the support of our donors. Behind those numbers are uplifting stories about the whole person care the VNA brings to our patients and families, which includes quality medical care, emotional support, comfort, relief, and so much more. The VNA strongly believes in our mission to care for everyone in the community, including the underserved populations in need of care. And it’s your support that makes our mission a reality. You bring whole person care into homes all around this community making an impact on the lives of those who need our services.

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    VNA Volunteer Marie B. sits bedside with VNA Hospice patient Lucy.News

    Volunteers Help Deliver the VNA Mission Every Day

    At any given time, the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) has approximately 400 volunteers helping us care for our patients in a variety of ways. From helping serve patients lunch at the VNA Hospice House to working in our Hidden Treasures Thrift Store to socializing with hospice patients, our volunteers are at the heart of what we do. Our loyal volunteers help the VNA deliver on our mission of providing the highest quality of care to those in need, ensuring optimal quality of life for patients and their families at all times.

    Marie B. is a newer volunteer, joining the VNA family in November 2022. After moving to the area right before COVID-19 and then finding herself as an empty nester, Marie was looking for a way to fill her days with volunteer work. One day, when shopping at Hidden Treasures, Marie decided to explore the different volunteer opportunities the VNA offers. Though Marie indicated on her volunteer application her willingness to perform any type of volunteer role, she found her niche being a respite volunteer.

    By providing respite care, Marie sits with hospice patients allowing their caregivers to run errands, go to appointments or just take a step away from the caregiver role for an hour. As someone who has experienced loss firsthand, Marie understands the complexity of dealing with a patient in hospice care and the need for caregivers to get a much-needed break. Marie knows what it is like to care for someone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and from the start understood the impact she could have on a family by simply keeping a patient company. “It’s important for a caregiver to get out and clear their mind,” said Marie.

    Of the patients she provides respite care for, Marie said they often just want to talk. “They are human; they are worthy and have things to share,” she said. Through these conversations, Marie brings comfort to our patients, gives caregivers much-needed time to recharge, and she also receives a benefit from her work. Marie gets to socialize and truly enjoy her visits with the patients she sees. Marie is an amazing asset to the VNA, using her past experiences to help us give our patients and their families an experience that includes the support they need during a difficult time. Marie, along with all of our volunteers, bring the VNA’s  mission to life every single day in Indian River County. We can’t thank them enough for their dedication to our mission.

    For more information on how you can volunteer to help the VNA and those in our community, go to: vnatc.com/volunteer/.

     

     

     

     

     

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